Recovery efforts are continuing for Lion Air flight JT610, which crashed into the Java Sea after takeoff from Jakarta early Monday morning. Survivors are not expected to be found from the crash of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, registered PK-LQP and delivered to the airline as recently as August 15, local officials and the airline state.
The search continues for the aircraft’s cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR) black boxes in waters some 30-35 metres deep, with the National Search and Rescue Agency Republic of Indonesia (Basarnas) leading the diving efforts.
The US National Transportation Safety Board will be assisting, since the United States is the country of manufacture of the Boeing 737. Experts from Boeing and CFM International, the Franco-American joint venture engine manufacturer comprising Safran and General Electric, will also contribute.
Lion Air #JT610 crash: Workers of PT Pertamina examine recovered debris of what is believed from the crashed flight, onboard Prabu ship off the shore of Karawang regency, West Java province, Indonesia. More here: https://t.co/Vak0DuYSbw pic.twitter.com/A8uFMQL6qD
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) October 29, 2018
Speculation as to the cause of the crash at this early stage will be both unhelpful and inaccurate. Indeed, the publicly available data on the aircraft’s flight is sparse and conflicting, with values transmitted via ADS-B showing erratic speeds and altitudes, although it must be emphasised that these are transmitted values from the aircraft’s systems that may well not be the actual speed and altitude of the aircraft.
Similarly erratic values were reportedly transmitted from PK-LQP’s previous flight.
You absolutely cannot draw any definitive conclusions, strong hints or even loose speculation about what befell #JT610 with the scant amount of information that’s currently available.
— Jon Ostrower (@jonostrower) October 29, 2018
The number of souls on board has been slow to be finalised, with Lion Air stating the passengers comprised 178 adults, one child and two infants, plus three trainee flight attendants and a technician.
The airline identified the captain as Bhavye Suneja, a pilot with more than 6,000 flight hours, and the copilot as Harvino, with more than 5,000 flight hours.
The six cabin crew on board were named as Shintia Melina, Citra Noivita Anggelia, Alviani Hidayatul Solikha, Damayanti Simarmata, Mery Yulianda and Deny Maula. It is unclear whether three of these flight attendants were the three identified as in training by the airline.
Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued an immediate ban on staff and contractors flying Lion Air.
“Following the fatal crash of a Lion Air plane on 29 October 2018, Australian Government officials and contractors have been instructed not to fly on Lion Air. This decision will be reviewed when the findings of the crash investigation are clear,” said DFAT in a statement also posted on the Smartraveller website.